Garzê Travel Guide

Plan your trip to Garzê, Sichuan with this comprehensive travel guide. Discover things to do, places to visit, where to stay, and more.

Garzê Travel Guide: A Comprehensive Tour

Garzê (also known as Ganzi) is located in Sichuan, Southwest China. It is a place where nature meets spirituality, and Tibetan culture meets Chinese culture. Garzê is home to a stunning landscape filled with majestic mountains, sparkling lakes, lush forests, and traditional Tibetan villages. This travel guide will help you plan your trip to Garzê by providing everything you need to know before you go.

Introduction to Garzê

Garzê is a Tibetan autonomous prefecture located in the western part of Sichuan. The prefecture contains 18 counties, including Garzê town, also known as Kangding. The region was historically a major trading hub along the Tea Horse Road, which connected Yunnan, Sichuan, and Tibet. Today, Garzê is a melting pot of cultures and traditions, making it an ideal destination for travelers seeking unique experiences.

List of Places to Visit in Garzê

Garzê is a vast region, and there are plenty of places to visit. Here are some of the must-visit destinations in Garzê:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  1. Museum of Kangding Love Song - A museum dedicated to the famous Kangding Love Song.
  2. Yala Mountain Scenic Area - A place where you can explore the rich Tibetan culture and history.
  3. Tagong Monastery - A Tibetan Buddhist monastery that is renowned for its stunning architecture.
  4. Ti Gong Temple - A famous temple that was built during the Ming Dynasty.

Natural Attractions of Garzê: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  1. Hailuogou Glacier Forest Park - A beautiful park filled with natural wonders such as hot springs, ice towers, and glaciers.
  2. Gongga Mountain - A popular hiking destination with magnificent views of the surrounding scenery.
  3. Luding Bridge - A historic bridge that spans the Dadu River.
  4. Danba - A charming town known for its stunning scenery and traditional Tibetan architecture.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Garzê

Garzê is an adventurer’s paradise, and the region offers a variety of hiking and biking routes. Here are some of the best hiking and biking routes in Garzê:

  1. Gonga Mountain - Offers a challenging but rewarding hike with stunning views of the surrounding scenery.
  2. Zhonglu trek - A scenic trekking route that passes through traditional Tibetan villages.
  3. Larong Wuming Buddhist Institute - A popular hiking destination that leads to a stunning monastery.

Best Things to Do in Garzê: Activities and Tours

Garzê offers a wide range of activities and tours for visitors. Here are some things you should not miss during your visit:

  1. Visit Tibetan monasteries - Learn about the Tibetan culture and history by visiting the many monasteries in the region.
  2. Attend a traditional Tibetan festival - Garzê is known for its lively festivals, such as the Yushu Horse Racing Festival.
  3. Go rafting in the Dadu River - Enjoy the thrill of rafting down the beautiful Dadu River.
  4. Take a hot spring bath - Relax in one of the many hot springs in the region.

Week-Long Itinerary for Garzê

Here is a suggested week-long itinerary for Garzê:

Day Activity
1 Arrival and explore Kangding
2 Visit Tagong Monastery and explore Danba
3 Hike Gongga Mountain and visit Luding Bridge
4 Explore Zhonglu village and hike Zhonglu trek
5 Visit Hailuogou Glacier Forest Park
6 Attend a traditional Tibetan festival or go rafting
7 Departure or additional activities based on your interests

Food and Drink Scene of Garzê

Garzê is home to a rich culinary scene that blends Tibetan and Sichuanese cuisine. Here are some of the must-try dishes and local beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  1. Yak meat - Tender and flavorful, this is a staple of the Tibetan diet.
  2. Butter tea - A popular Tibetan drink made with butter, salt, and tea leaves.
  3. Tibetan momos - Delicious dumplings filled with meat or vegetables.
  4. Mapo tofu - A spicy Sichuanese dish made with tofu and minced meat.

Local Beverages

  1. Chang - A Tibetan alcoholic beverage made from fermented barley.
  2. Raksi - A clear, distilled liquor made from fermented grains.
  3. Sichuan tea - A fragrant tea that is a staple of Sichuanese culture.

Where to Stay in Garzê: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Garzê offers a variety of accommodation options, including hotels, hostels, and guesthouses. Here are some recommendations:

  1. Kangding Renzhi Hotel - A luxury hotel located in the heart of Kangding.
  2. Dragon Town Hostel - A budget-friendly hostel in the center of Kangding.
  3. Shangshui Guesthouse - A traditional Tibetan guesthouse in Zhonglu village.

What to Buy in Garzê: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Garzê is famous for its handmade crafts, traditional Tibetan clothes, and local products. Here are some of the best souvenirs to bring home:

  1. Tibetan prayer flags - Colorful flags that are a symbol of Tibetan culture and Buddhism.
  2. Handmade Tibetan rugs - Beautiful rugs made by local craftsmen.
  3. Qingke barley wine - A local liquor made from highland barley.

Local Culture and Customs of Garzê

Garzê is primarily a Tibetan region, and it is essential to respect the local culture and customs. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Dress conservatively and modestly - It is common for Tibetans to wear conservative clothing.
  2. Do not touch or step over prayer flags - Prayer flags are considered sacred and should be treated with respect.
  3. Remove your shoes before entering a monastery or a Tibetan home - Shoes are considered unclean and should not be worn indoors.

Best Time to Visit Garzê

The best time to visit Garzê is in the spring and autumn, when the weather is mild and pleasant. The summer months can be quite hot, and the winter months can be quite cold, with heavy snowfall in some areas.

Do’s and Don’ts of Garzê


  1. Respect the local customs and traditions.
  2. Try the local cuisine and beverages.
  3. Carry enough cash, as ATMs may not be readily available in remote areas.


  1. Disrespect or damage prayer flags or other religious symbols.
  2. Speak loudly or disturb the peaceful environment.
  3. Take photographs without permission.

Safety and Health

Safety in Garzê

Garzê is a generally safe region, but it is essential to take precautions while traveling. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. Stay on marked trails while hiking.
  2. Be cautious while driving, as some roads can be narrow and winding.
  3. Follow weather reports, as weather conditions can change abruptly.

Health in Garzê

Garzê is a high-altitude region, and altitude sickness can be a problem for some travelers. It is recommended to acclimatize slowly and drink plenty of fluids to prevent altitude sickness. It is also essential to check with your doctor before traveling to ensure that you are up-to-date on your vaccinations.

Getting to Garzê: Transportation Options and Logistics

Garzê is a remote region, and getting there can be challenging. Here are some transportation options:

Airports Near Garzê

The nearest airport to Garzê is Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, which is a four-hour drive from the region. From Chengdu, you can take a bus or hire a car to reach Garzê.

Bus Stations Near Garzê

Kangding Bus Station is the main bus station in Garzê, and it has frequent bus connections to major cities in Sichuan and Yunnan.

Other Options

You can also hire a car or taxi to reach Garzê, but it can be expensive.

How to Get Around in Garzê

Garzê is a large region, and it is essential to have your transportation arranged in advance. Here are some options:

  1. Bus - The most common form of public transportation in Garzê.
  2. Taxi - Taxis are available in the larger towns and cities.
  3. Hire a guide - Hiring a guide can be a good option if you want to explore the region in-depth.

Where to Go Next from Garzê: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Garzê is located in the heart of Sichuan, and there are plenty of nearby destinations and excursions to explore. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Daocheng Yading Nature Reserve - A stunning nature reserve with snow-capped mountains and crystal-clear lakes.
  2. Jiuzhaigou Valley - A national park that is famous for its colorful lakes and picturesque waterfalls.
  3. Chengdu - The capital of Sichuan, famous for its delicious cuisine, giant pandas, and historic landmarks.


Garzê is a unique travel destination that offers a blend of Tibetan culture, stunning scenery, and outdoor adventures. This comprehensive travel guide has provided you with everything you need to know to plan your trip, including places to visit, things to do, where to stay, and more. Enjoy your visit to this magical region!